Use Stipulations as Shortcuts to Success in your custody case.
A Stipulation is an agreement entered into by both parties in a child custody dispute which takes the form of a written document submitted to the Court. For example, two lawyers in a custody case might “stipulate” to extend the deadline for supplying documents to each other. They might stipulate to the date, time and place for taking depositions.
Yet a Stipulation is not limited to cases involving lawyers. And it need not be restricted to pre-trial issues such as procuring documents or conducting depositions. A mother and a father involved in a custody case can stipulate to almost anything.
And it’s a good idea to do so. A Stipulation signed by both parties and filed with the Court takes the issue out of the judge’s hands. It essentially says to the judge: “we’re no longer fighting over this particular aspect of the case…we’ve made an agreement on this point…so you need not rule on this issue.” Judges generally like to receive Stipulations because it simplifies their role and it reflects a professional and cooperative attitude between the parties.
Stipulations can be very helpful, not only as tactical shortcuts that will speed up the case (and perhaps save legal fees and other costs), but also as a device to “lock in” certain controversial issues. For example, two parents may stipulate that their son suffers from diabetes and must receive insulin injections at the same time every day. Such a Stipulation may, at first glimpse, not amount to much in the way of a tactical device in court. However, such a Stipulation can later be very valuable to the parent who presents evidence showing she is the only one available to assist the child with his injections during the particular times of day in question (or that she is the only one that received the necessary training in diabetic patient management).
When combined with other evidence, Stipulations can have a powerful impact, and may work as shortcuts to your success in the child custody hearing.